Northeast network builds stress resilience in agriculture populations
The stress and mental health issues that farm and agricultural populations face are well known. In 2019, the University of Delaware Cooperative Extension organized the Northeast Regional Farmers and Ranchers Stress Assistance Network (FRSAN-NE). The evidence-based action network reduces stress and promotes mental health and well-being using practical actions and programs. Farmers, ranchers, agricultural workers and agro-fishing workers and their families are the target audience.
The initiative builds on the cumulative expertise of Northeast Extension professionals in dealing with farm stress, mental health and family, community and farm resilience. All land-grant universities in the region participate. The group identified resources, created new training activities and worked with other FRSAN cohorts to address the diversity of assistance needed for agricultural populations under stress.
The FRSAN Extension Cohort raised awareness of using humor and improvisation as viable communication strategies in agriculture stress and mental health-related issues. They received funding support for a humor project and related podcasts. Current Northeast Extension farm stress programs can be adapted for different regions, needs and agriculture service providers. The Northeast group also developed culturally relevant and appropriate materials for Black, Indigenous and people of color communities while also offering translation and language justice support for diverse communities. The network is a safe space for conversations and connections among regional Extension professionals to identify needs and problem solve while supporting the mental health and well-being of agricultural populations.
Link to full statement on website: http://landgrantimpacts.tamu.edu/impacts/show/5915